Latest News

Let’s Demand Justice for the Uyghur People

December 10, 2020

OTTAWA – B’nai Brith Canada is calling on the public to demand justice for the Uyghur people, including an end to the Chinese government’s persecution of the Uyghurs and other minorities.

In a virtual event Thursday, Ran Ukashi, National Director of B’nai Brith’s League for Human Rights, moderated a panel discussing the plight of the Uyghurs with a gathering of experts. The panel included: Dr. Raziya Mahmut, the Vice-President of International Support for Uyghurs; the Honourable David Kilgour, Former MP and Senior Fellow to the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights; and David Matas, B’nai Brith’s Senior Legal Counsel.


The Uyghur Muslims are an ethnic and religious minority found largely in China’s Xinjiang province. For decades, they have been persecuted by the Chinese government. Reports have circulated for years that more than one million Uyghurs have been interned in detainment camps, mistreated and tormented by the Chinese government.

For Jews around the world, such events have a terrible resonance and provide a moral imperative to speak out.

Earlier this year, B’nai Brith Canada joined leaders of the Uyghur community to demand that Canada, the United Nations and all world leaders take concrete steps to bring China’s brutality against the Uyghur people to an end.

We are fighting to make a difference for the Uyghur people. Sign our petition to Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Francois-Philippe Champagne and in doing so, call on our government to take the following steps:

  • Continue to press Chinese authorities for complete and unfettered access to Xinjiang by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as independent international observers.
  • Use its Magnitsky legislation (officially, the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act) passed in 2017, to sanction key officials of the Chinese government implicated in human rights violations involving the Uyghur community. The legislation applies to authorities in any country complicit in “gross violations” of human rights or corruption. The legislation allows the government to freeze assets here belonging to the listed individuals, bar them from the country and prohibit Canadians from doing business with them.
  • Follow the lead of countries like Australia by passing a Foreign Agents Registration Law to counter China’s harassment and intimidation operations in this country.
  • Work for the release of Canadian Huseyin Celil, who was abducted by the Chinese government in Uzbekistan in 2006. Celil is a Canadian citizen and a Uyghur human rights activist from China who promoted the rights of China’s Uyghur minority. In 2001, he fled China after being jailed for supporting the religious and political rights of the Uyghur people. The United Nations recognized him as a refugee.